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Retiring Justice gives final voice of reason on Florida’s death penalty

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

There are some things that only lawyers can explain. This is one of them. But I defy them to make sense of it. Just in time for Christmas, the Florida Supreme Court in two cases last week gave new leases on life to 213 convicted killers but turned down about 173 more. The only difference between the two groups is the turn of one page on the calendar. Those whose sentences — or new sentences after appeal — became “final”…

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Martin Dyckman: Donald Trump pick Charles Canady could bring ‘dog whistles’ to SCOTUS

in 2017/Top Headlines by

What sort of Supreme Court justices would Donald Trump appoint? For an insight, consider the case of Kathy Johnson v. Omega Insurance Co., decided by the Florida Supreme Court Sept. 29. One of his prospective nominees was on the wrong side of that. The business model of an insurance company is to take as much of the policyholder’s money as possible and pay back as little as the law allows. To use a currently familiar phrase, its “fiduciary responsibility” is…

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Today on Context Florida: Innovation, Thomas G. Wenski and Antonin Scalia losing his mind

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida: Florida’s future depends on innovation, says Dale Brill, to address threats, including rising sea levels, the effect of nitrogen cycles, ocean acidification and more. If solutions to these challenges are to find their genesis in Florida, a commitment to innovation is necessary to fully transition state and local economies that compete for investment capital, skilled workforce and overlapping targeted industries. For Florida to emerge as a vibrant innovation system viewed as globally competitive, increased investments in the…

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Pinellas Stonewall Democrats president Susan McGrath celebrates marriage equality ruling

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

This is a monumental weekend for the LGBT community. Same-sex couples can now get married in all 50 U.S. states and those who were already married in one of the states who already overturned bans on same-marriage will have their marriages recognized in the 14 states where it was still against the law. Susan McGrath, president of the Pinellas County Stonewall Democrats – named after the 1969 Stonewall riots that serves as the kickoff of the American gay rights movement…

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Seriously, has Antonin Scalia lost his mind?

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I am certain the public’s opinion is as divided on the subjects of gay marriage and Obamacare – and, in particular, this week’s SCOTUS rulings – as the court itself.  And while this is not a post about the meaning or impact of either ruling, I can’t help but wonder if dissenter-in-chief Antonin Scalia has lost his mind. In reading his two recent dissents, Scalia’s words read more like bizarre (and more than a little bit whiney) manifestos than reasoned…

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Email insights: Carlos Smith resists getting ‘carried away’ at Obama LGBT event

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In a new email to supporters, Democratic Florida House District 49 hopeful Carlos Smith believes President Barack Obama‘s LGBT Pride Month celebration was a symbol of progress. Not everyone there agreed. In fact, at least one attendee at the White House event found it hard not to get carried away. Not long into the ceremony, an angry LGBT activist interrupted Obama to call for the release of all LGBT immigrants in detention and end deportations. Obama – who frequently gives…

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